Illustration by Taylor Dow

Joy and Anger

A total solar eclipse takes center stage.

This isn’t an easy week, so prepare your heart and mind accordingly. Everyone’s on edge, equal parts emotionally raw and enraged. Take plenty of downtime to regroup or even weep if you need to. The good news is: After the confrontations, disappointments, and emotional storms of this week comes a strong determination to press reset and move forward with the powerful new Moon and solar eclipse on the 21st. Monday’s total solar eclipse is extra-rare because it involves a second consecutive new Moon in Leo, further intensifying Leo themes in our personal and collective lives. While a lunar eclipse (the kind we saw on August 7) is about endings and release, a solar eclipse marks new starts. Total darkness followed by astonishing light. Death, then rebirth.

Before we get this fresh beginning and rebirth, we have to thrash our way through a jungle of thorny feelings and hard truths, due to lingering Pluto crankiness, an ongoing Mercury retrograde, and an extremely busy Moon. Ruler of moods and tides, the Moon forms significant “aspects” with other planets every single day this week, slathering extra emotion onto an already dramatic Leo season. In the thick of all this eclipse upheaval, expect to juggle conflicting impulses, such as an urgent “It’s now or never! Let’s go!” certainty mixed with an “Um, actually I’m feeling kind of wobbly and unsure” hesitation. Leo’s quickness to shout strong opinions and party hard competes with the opposite urge to crawl into a cozy cave and avoid people altogether. Notice both desires and do your best.


When astrologers say Leo is a “fire sign,” what does that mean? In Western astrology, each sign takes on one of four natural elements. Beginning with Aries, the order goes: fire, earth, air, water. The elements repeat, in that order, three times around the zodiac circle. Fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; earth: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius; water: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. You’ll generally feel more content while the Sun or Moon is in a sign that shares your element. An Aries will enjoy Leo season because they too speak fire fluently.

Fire is action, enthusiasm, bubbling joy you can’t contain and need to share. Fiery Leo rules the fifth house, a patch of the zodiac associated with creativity, romance, self-expression, and pleasure. All week you’ll be paying special attention to your passions. What lights you up from the heart? Which activities bring you bliss? Fire is also about anger and righteous indignation. Fire is the ability to stand up for yourself and others. There aren’t always two valid sides to every argument. Some views are plain dangerous, some policies are simply unjust. Though we’ve reached the tail end of Leo season, it’s not too late to be valiant, bold, and loud. We can feel both joy and anger.


Retrograde Mercury delivers eye-widening information on Wednesday the 16th. You’ll need to make an important choice, perhaps even part ways. A clash between Venus and Jupiter means you may run into money trouble or experience self-doubt. People could be grouchy and quick to react, too. The Moon moves into Cancer on Thursday the 17th, making emotional waters choppy until early Saturday. Yet you can achieve forward momentum and make progress Thursday. Feelings are still tender and prominent on Friday the 18th, a day that might bring disappointing news. Also: Relationships will require adjustments. Don’t be afraid to take unfamiliar action. On the morning of Saturday the 19th the Moon enters Leo, shifting focus from feelings to future plans and inspired vision. Finish projects on Saturday to prepare for the clean slate of Monday’s new Moon. Sunday the 20th offers resolution, but not without an argument or two. If you get too worked up, return to a conversation later. The total solar eclipse on Monday the 21st begins just after 9 a.m., reaches “totality” at 10:20 a.m., and ends by 11:41 a.m. (The new Moon in Leo occurs at 11:30 a.m.) However you choose to observe the phenomenon, do not stare directly at the Sun without special eclipse glasses or a solar filter. Regular sunglasses won’t protect your eyes, folks! For the next five days, as Saturn prepares to turn retrograde, we’ll start to notice more Saturn themes around commitment, structure, and boundaries. Tuesday the 22nd marks the first day of Virgo season and also features a helpful connection between Mars and Saturn which allows us to pursue our dreams, full throttle.

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